Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Monday, January 21, 2013
The next three weeks are exam and PD weeks so I don’t have to be at college at the crack of dawn. This finally gave me the motivation to get up before dawn for the camel races just outside of town. They race very early so that the men can go to early morning Mosque services…also to keep the camels out of the direct heat of the day.
The race got canceled….apparently this happens rather frequently for all sorts of reasons. We did get to see all the camels and their robot riders as they trained.
Bringing the camels out to the track.
It was actually cold.
These tiny robots have replaced the 4 and 5 year olds that were brought in from India and Pakistan in the past.
The trainers riding the bigger camels and the smaller racers are usually tied to their mothers.
Later that day, I drove up to Dubai and went to the Global Village with my friend Patreshia. This is a giant event held every winter with pavilions from various countries, rides, cultural shows, restaurants and shopping. Unfortunately, many of the pavilions were filled to the rafters with plastic, made-in-china crap. The South Korean pavilion didn’t have one Korean product in it. The Indian one was filled with textiles which was interesting but they were all made in Pakistan..very odd. My favorite was the Iraqi pavilion because they had gone a totally different way from other places and filled theirs with Iraqi artists’ paintings. Most seemed between $100 to $200…very reasonable and something for every style.
I’ve posted this picture of an African dancer because it really pointed out to me how different this place is. I was watching the show and then noticed that amongst the hundreds of viewers, I was the only woman. These male dancers had their shirts off so the local women couldn’t be anywhere near.
We’re taking our students to this place next week which is going to be an experience…many of them will have never been somewhere without family supervision. I think I’ll make sure that they see this African show
The college gave us a couple weeks for the winter break and after my jam-packed Jordan/Egypt trip last winter, I decided to spend Christmas doing something relaxing and more ‘family’ oriented. So, I joined my Korean ‘family’ for a week. I’ve spent the last decade of Christmases on and off with my friends Kimberley and Chai and missed the last two years while off traveling so I was excited to see them. Also, they have a cute little addition to their family who I was anxious to meet up with again.
The first night they decided to torture the poor desert dweller by going on a family outing to a Christmas village, at night, in –13 degree weather.
The lights were pretty and there were statues of Santa and his crew all over the place…whipping the kids up into a frenzy. This is Kimberley and Kai with one of the many Santas. We ended our night with hot chocolate and a sleepy drive back into the city.
Then it was Christmas fun for the rest of the week. Christmas Eve dinner with friends
Kim’s spicy chilli with cheese and sour cream..yummm
Helping out Santa with a few construction jobs at 3am.
Then came Christmas morning and all the toys.
Kai with his best friend Inez….who knew mechanic fish were so interesting?
It was a great visit but I wish I had planned for a longer visit.